The Hows, Whats, Whys and Why Nots of Manga Blogging and Reporting

January 17th, 2010

This week has been very interesting in the manga blogging corner of the world.

It started with Brigid Alverson on Mangablog writing about how to set up a manga blog that’s User-Friendly. Her advice is all good, solid, basic web-building advice.

This was followed by David Welsh on his newly renamed Manga Curmudgeon, pointedly teaching fledgling journalists how to report on Manga properly.

Last night on Twitter, Deb Aoki from manga.about.com wrote some writing tips for manga bloggers, so they can write better blogs. (Compiled by animemiz)

Late breaking Entry! Mangacritic Kate Dacey just added her incredibly important 2 cents to the issue, with this morning’s post Why Editing Matters.

And few nights ago, I had a discussion on Twitter with a bunch of the manga bloggers on why – and why not – to start a manga blog. This article is the compilation of those basics, so we can have all four pieces of writing in permalink spots. :-)

Why You Shouldn’t Start a Blog

1) To get free stuff.

No one owes you and no one cares about you – until you prove you’re worth caring about. Once you have an audience and a reputation for fair and creative reviews, you’ll have a base to stand upon to ask for review copies. But still, remember – no one owes you anything.

2) To pick a bone with a company.

Boy you hate Company XYZ. Everyone you know knows it. Now you want to share your issues with the world. You hate their font, their voice actors, their translator, their cover artist and you’re going to rag endlessly about it, and while you’re there talk about some stuff you like too.

3) To share illegally shared material.

You stay right on top of the sub and scan scene and you know just where to get every sub and scan and how cool is that? It’s not. You dealing in stolen IP and that makes you an accessory. Fines and jail time are so uncool.

Why you should start a blog

1) To get writing experience

Blogging is a great way to build your writing and editing skills, to learn to keep a deadline and to experiment in a safe way with your writing. Non-fiction is, by and large, easier to write than fiction, but writing on a steady schedule is still work.

2) You have a unique viewpoint or interest.

Obviously, the reason I started this blog was that no one else was writing on Yuri, and I was starting up a Yuricon and needed somewhere to write about it. 8 years later there are other Yuri blogs, but I hope I’m still bringing something unique and critical to the table. Many of the bloggers I respect have a unique focus, interest, genre or perspective.

3) Other people keep telling you it’s time.

On the whole, I’m not moved by what “other people say” but for many successful bloggers, it all began when someone else asked them to write for them. It might have been a guest post or as a staff writer on a larger site. In some cases, the blogger had been discussing manga or anime critically for ages and it just finally seemed like the right thing to do. Permalinks are so much more useful than conversations that float away on a breeze. :-)

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So – there you have it. The world’s first compilation on Manga Blogging 101, brought to you by Brigid Alverson, David Welsh, Kate Dacey, Deb Aoki and me. :-)

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8 Responses

  1. Saranga says:

    Great post! thanks for the links and your thoughts too.

  2. @Saranga – I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    @Michelle Smith – I didn’t have room for all the bloggers I like and respect, but it’s a New Year resolution of a sort that I mention worthy folks more, so my readers don’t live in a vacuum. ;-)

  3. Jovvijo says:

    Okay this probably isn’t the place but she who hesitates, gets herpes! (I forget the exact saying). I have a blog up, it started as writing but is now mostly cartoons. Lesbian cartoons based on my partners and my own, life.

    One panel cartoons, just a laugh for people, and other gay women especially, to appreciate. Would you like to take a look? If you hate it you hate it and I will pretend not to be destroyed! ^_^

    http://randomsynopticfirings.blogspot.com/

    Everyone welcome!

  4. BruceMcF says:

    I can’t recall the saying precisely, but that is definitely not it. Its more like “they who hesitate will lust”, something like that.

    direct link to the cartoon, since later posts will push that down the blog.

  5. I’ve encountered a few newbie bloggers with the “freebies shall be mine!” attitude, but more often, I’ve met people who just seem a little lost. They don’t know much about comics or the publishing biz, their interests are confined to just a handful of series, etc. Getting practical advice from a media pro like you would be very helpful for folks in the formative stages of mangablogging. I hope you turn this into a convention panel/presentation, because I think it would be well attended.

    Thanks for the link, BTW. Highlighting great writing around the web is also on my to-do list for 2010, so expect many, many more links to Okazu in the coming months.

  6. @Katherine Dacey – I was so pleased to see you had weighed in with your comments on editing. I’m a *terrible* typist so will often edit my posts three or four times and still find typos.

    We don’t all do Pulitzer Prize winning reviews every time we write, but the more we share and strive and learn, the better we get.

    You’re right – we really need to make this a class at ComicCon or something.

  7. thedarkworld says:

    I wish non-fiction was easier to write than fiction! It makes me question everything about myself and I really wind up feeling like I don’t know anything about well… anything! Fiction writing is simply sharing the imaginary thoughts I already have with the world. Perhaps it just depends on the person and how much confidence he/she has.

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